NREAC Meeting Date and Location November 17, 2010 Attachments: - Post Election Analyses (Noelle Ellerson slide show, Marty Strange write-up) - Registration form for annual legislative conference, Feb. 2-3, 2011 MISC: - The next conference call is scheduled December 9 at 1 pm EST. - The annual legislative conference will be Feb. 2-3, 2011 in Washington DC. Please register and make your room reservation! - Robert Mahaffey of the Rural School and Community Trust has extended an invitation for NREAC members to dial in to the regular conference calls of OCRE (Organizations Concerned with Rural Education). I will send information around as it becomes available. You can visit the OCRE website: http://www.ruralschools.org/ LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE - The registration form is attached to this email. - While we had been able to get a meeting time with John White, our time can be better spent, and the consensus was to focus on worthwhile meetings. In that vein of thought, we will be able to meet with Michal Yudin (from the Office of Elementary and Secondary Programs in the Department). The remainder of the program is being fleshed out, but will include the usual hill panels and a planned (though not yet absolute) event around REAP and the rural caucus. - Hotel Information: West Arlington Gateway, 801 N Glebe Road, Arlington VA ADVOCACY UPDATE: - Child Nutrition: The bill was not reauthorized before Congress adjourned. Instead, it was granted a 60 day extension, included in the continuing resolution that funds the government, and expiring on December 3. This provides a 60 day window to work with House members to make improvements to the bill. If the changes are not made, AASA will continue to oppose the bill and push instead for straight extension of current law. AASA, in conjunction with the National School Boards Association and the Council of Great City Schools, has been opposing the current reauthorization, and the argument has been gaining traction on the hill, including increased coverage in the media. That said, it is still a very heavy lift: weigh in with your Representative; encourage them to support straight extension of current law instead of adopting the Senate version of the bill. We can expect this on the floor the week after Thanksgiving; the current extension expires Dec. 3. - Vouchers: The Senate Armed Services committee included a provision for a $7,500 voucher for special education kids in military families in their appropriation bill this year. While we met with the committee and explained what a voucher is, that IDEA is the best way to meet the educational needs of the children with special needs, and the impact this could have on impact aid. Weigh in with your Senator and urge them to vote NO to the voucher amendment. We expect this to come to the floor as soon as the week after Thanksgiving. - Appropriations: Congress completed none of the appropriations bills to fund the federal government for FY11. As such, Congress passed a continuing resolution, taking effect Oct. 1, to level fund the government at FY10 levels until Congress can finish the appropriations process. The current CR expires on 12/3. This means Congress has until then, once they return from elections, to either pass appropriations bill, pass another CR, or pass an omnibus. Please note that the Senate voucher item is tied into the Senate Defense Appropriation. We need to make sure that appropriation remains a stand-alone bill. Lumping it into a massive spending bill (omnibus) would make in subject to a simple up/down vote, eliminating our ability to get the voucher provision stripped from the bill. In terms of funding the government, we are hearing a strong push for an omnibus from education groups, over concerns of getting more money now, in FY11, before the new, more fiscally-modest Congress takes the reins. That said, an omnibus is far from a sure thing, and a second, longer CR is just as likely, providing basically level funding into the new Congress, who would then need to either allocate funding for the rest of the fiscal year or provide a longer-term continuing resolution to fund FY11 while they simultaneously work on FY12. Budget joy!